Johnny Manuel is from Flint, Michigan. As a young child, he could not be pulled away from his radio and quickly began mimicking every note he heard coming out of the speakers. After covering a Run-D.M.C. song, he was signed to a record contract at the age of fourteen under the nickname Lil' Johnny. He was thrilled to be recording in studios and going on tour with famous artists. A couple of years later, however, he was dropped. As a 17-year-old, he locked himself into a room, depressed. He started working jobs in retail and other common jobs. He now hopes to return to the spotlight for a second chance while he presents himself and his music to the world. 
Johnny Manuel's Judge Cuts performance in Episode 1210 consisted of singing Stevie Wonder's "Lately". Mel B gave him a standing ovation. Simon then commented that he found the singing and lack of originality annoying. Simon then asked Johnny to sing thirty seconds of Whitney Houston’s "I Have Nothing", as he did in his audition. Mel, guest judge Seal, and Heidi Klum then gave him standing ovations. Impressed with the performance, Seal pressed his Golden Buzzer for Johnny, sending him straight to the Quarterfinals.
America's Got Talent 2017 Johnny Manuel Full Clip Live Shows S12E15
Johnny Manuel's Week 1 Semifinals performance in Episode 1217 consisted of singing an original song entitled "Blind Faith." Johnny did not receive enough votes to advance to the Finals in Episode 1218, eliminating him from the competition along with Yoli Mayor.